The Miami Heat can’t beat the Boston Celtics. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s the regular season or the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if they have LeBron James or not. Over the last two seasons the Celtics are 9-1 against Miami. Gamblers would call that a lock, not just a trend. Fans of other teams and critics everywhere are smiling. Apparently, this team is more ordinary than invincible. At 5-4, Miami is lodged right in the middle of the NBA world and people in South Florida wonder why.
The obvious answer as to why the Heat are struggling is that the current team has only played together for a short period of time. True, but it is not the only reason. Miami has had players put up good numbers in some of the early games this season, but they have only beaten one quality opponent; Orlando. Miami has been lacking in three key areas. They have been losing the battle at the point, in the paint, and from the heart. During Thursday night’s game, one play highlighted all of these deficiencies. During the first quarter, Rajon Rondo drove into the paint and dunked completely uncontested in front of flat-footed Heat forward Chris Bosh. As TNT analyst Charles Barkley stated “either block it or knock him on his ass”. Bosh did neither. Love him or hate him, Sir Charles always speaks what he believes to be the truth, and he always played the game with an unquestionable amount of heart. The Miami Heat could use a little injection of that heart right now.
I have all of the confidence in the world in Dwyane Wade and Eric Spoelstra. LeBron James and Chris Bosh have both been irreplaceable parts on playoff teams and Pat Riley has more cred than most financial institutions at this point. But the player who stood out Thursday night was Udonis Haslem; coming off the bench for 21 points and 10 rebounds. He seems to be the only one playing with a purpose and heart. Anyone familiar with Miami Heat basketball will think of Alonzo Mourning when the subject of “heart” comes up. The man did not know how to do anything halfway.
The bad news is that Zo can’t play the point guard spot very well. The good news is that even at 75 years of age(give or take a few), he can play very good interior defense and would also be a great influence on other players in terms of effort, work ethic and yes, heart. Pat Riley has done an unbelievable job in Miami over the last 15 years and a big part of that was Mourning. I am not one to advocate reaching to the past just to enjoy what was, but I also see what is. Alonzo Mourning is better than Juwan Howard, Joel Anthony, or Jamaal Magloire, and I’m pretty sure Riley still has his number. Call him.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).